Eban Says Arab-israel Talks, Not Big Power Deals, to Decide Mideast Peace
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Eban Says Arab-israel Talks, Not Big Power Deals, to Decide Mideast Peace

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Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban told the Israel Parliament tonight that there is no stage between war and peace and that for Israel and the Arab states there can be nothing between continuation of the present situation and the establishment of peace.

Mr. Eban spoke to a crowded house, making his first report since his return from New York where he led the Israel delegation during the debates in the Security Council and the special emergency session of the General Assembly on the Arab-Israeli crisis.

Regarding the status of Jerusalem, with which the Assembly dealt in two separate resolutions, Mr. Eban expressed the hope that the world would recognize the “new reality” in the city, which, he said, serves the vital interests of the city’s population and the aspirations of mankind. Underlying Israel’s policy on Jerusalem, he said, are three basic aims: the integrity of the city, its welfare and its holiness.

Despite the “overwhelming power of the United States and the Soviet Union.” the Foreign Minister told Parliament, “the only dialogue that can change reality in the area is a dialogue among the states themselves. Renunciation of Arab belligerence, which the Arabs refuse to give up, can be tested only through deeds. Statements will not be enough. The question is whether the Arab states will be ready to conduct talks with Israel designed at concluding a peace treaty.”


Mr. Eban voiced sharp criticism of the Soviet Union’s attitude in both the Security Council and in the Assembly, and condemned its attacks on the Jewish people. He said that “the Jewish people have been frequently denigrated and attacked. But rarely has there been such vicious and concentrated vituperation as that used by the Soviet delegation, headed by its Prime Minister. But Soviet efforts to obtain United Nations backing for the Arab attackers ended in failure. World opinion has begun to realize the absurdity of the argument on behalf of those who act to destroy Israel–then cry out when their intended victim refuses to resign itself to this fate.”

The Foreign Minister said that “by rejecting the Arab and Soviet resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw her forces, the United Nations in fact accepted the rule that one should not deal with the outcome of war without dealing with its causes.”

Mr. Eban affirmed that Israel intended to observe the cease-fire arrangements “in letter and in spirit” but he stressed that the truce arrangements must be based on mutuality and equality. “This,” he said, “holds true in the Suez Canal where the demarcation line runs in the middle of the canal.”

Mr. Eban said that “experience makes it understandable” that the peace proposals Israel is ready to offer the Arab states “will reflect anxiety over our security. But every reasonable program,” he said, “must serve the mutual needs of both sides. In this spirit, Israel is ready for talks with every Arab state separately.”

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